Chicago’s ABC affiliate suspended a popular local sportsman for attacking both President Donald Trump and America itself on Twitter by calling Trump a “cartoon lunatic” and America “a country full of simpletons.”
Long-time sportsman Mark Giangreco raised eyebrows after last Sunday’s mini tirade on Twitter, and by Thursday employer ABC-7 announced that the sportscaster was suspended saying in a statement, “Sports anchor Mark Giangreco’s Twitter comments are not in line with ABC 7 Chicago’s non-partisan editorial standards. We’ve reviewed the matter and are taking the appropriate action.”
According to Chicago media blogger Robert Feder, Giangreco’s suspension starts Monday. Feder also reports that Giangreco, who has been a TV sportsman in Chicago for 35 years, will be suspended without pay for “multiple weeks.”
Neither Giangreco nor his agent is willing to comment at this time. ABC also did not release any further details aside from its original statement that action was being taken.
The sportsman’s tweet was in reply to a tweet by Canadian sports columnist Bruce Arthur who on February 19 tweeted, “Donald Trump: a hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton supported by 87% of Republicans.”
Whereas the Canadian columnist focused on attacking Republicans, Giangreco went even further by attacking America itself by tweeting in reply, “@brucearthur so obvious, so disturbing. America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be ‘elected’.”
Giangreco soon tried to delete the tweet but not before ChicagoCityWire.com took a screen shot of the reply and posted it.
The Chicago sportsman’s scare quotes around the word “elected” alludes to his assumption that the president was not elected legitimately. But as ChicagoCityWire notes, Giangreco himself didn’t bother to vote in 2016.
According to state records, Giangreco didn’t bother to vote in 2010, 2012, 2014, or 2016.
This is far from the only time Giangreco has been in trouble for his conduct. In 2014 he was scolded by his bosses for putting an offensive graphic on the screen during his coverage of the Bears. As he reported on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Giangreco added a screen graphic reading “Cut him or cut your wrists.” Viewers were upset that the sportsman seemed to be making light of suicide.
Giangreco was also criticized in 2004 for saying that a video clip of fires raging in a city street was just a “typical night for Detroit.” He was suspended for a week without pay for the insensitive comment.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.